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Former Jet Mark Gastineau asks NFL for help

Former Jets All-Pro defensive lineman Mark Gastineau at

Former Jets All-Pro defensive lineman Mark Gastineau at his Ring of Honor ceremony at MetLife Stadium on Oct. 8, 2012. Credit: Getty Images / Al Bello

In an emotional radio interview on 710 WOR-AM, former Jets great Mark Gastineau asked the NFL for help as he deals with severe brain issues.

“It’s not good, it’s not good,” a sobbing Gastineau, 61, told Pete McCarthy on WOR’s Sports Zone on Thursday night. “When I’m laying in bed until 3, 4 or 5 [in the afternoon], it’s not good. There will be days I get up and I’m good. My wife will tell you, she helps me get out of bed . . . and she’ll help me remember names.”

Last year, Gastineau told WOR he is suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. He said the diseases are the result of head trauma suffered from playing 10 years in the NFL.

Gastineau was a plaintiff in the successful concussion lawsuit against the NFL but said he hasn’t been compensated financially. He said he went to NFL officials to have his medical case reviewed but was rejected.

“The NFL is wrong,” he said. “The NFL is wrong. They’re wrong. I’m not telling them to give me zillions of dollars. I don’t want zillions of dollars. I want to be treated with respect.”

Now he’s asking NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for help. Gastineau said he has a friendship with Goodell, who was a public relations intern with the Jets in the early 1980s, when Gastineau was a member of the famed New York Sack Exchange.

Gastineau recalled a recent conversation he had with Goodell about his health issues.

“I want the NFL to treat people right,” Gastineau said. “I want to hold you to your promise, Roger Goodell. You said, ‘Anything I need.’ I want the players to be treated right.”

The NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

New York Sports